Chicken Curry and Whole Wheat Naan
I think chicken curry just may be my favourite meal. Come to think of it….Indian is probably my favourite ethnic food.
For a while during my cook book collection days, I became a bit obsessed with learning how to cook everything Indian. I had more than a few visitors comment on the smell of my house during this time.
Nothing permeates a kitchen for days like a good strong curry, not even fish.
I don’t care. It’s a good smell in my world. 🙂
I like my curry to be taken seriously. No fooling around in my smelly kitchen so if you don’t like heat and a bit of forehead sweat then leave out the hot peppers.
I won’t tell anyone you’re a wimp….I promise.
2-3 hot chilli peppers
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
10 cloves of garlic
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
1/4 cup curry paste
1 tbsp sambal oelek (optional)
2 tsp curry power (use the good stuff)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt (more later after tasting)
1 large can or 2 small cans of diced tomatoes
1 can light coconut milk
3 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
Plain nonfat yogurt (topping)
While preparing your curry first boil 1 cup of brown basmati rice (any rice will do) in 2 cups of water. When I’m doing a rice for curry I add about 20 cardamom pods to the hot water.
The cardamom infuses a subtle flavour to the rice and smells so aromatic that I almost do it for that reason alone! Once you’re rice is cooked, the pods will all be sitting right on top making it super simple to just remove them and toss them out. Biting into a cardamom pod is not nice so do make sure you get them all.
Begin by spraying a large nonstick frying pan (or a large stock pot) with cooking spray. Add diced chicken and lightly brown chicken only until about 1/2 cooked.
While chicken is cooking, add onions, garlic, hot peppers and ginger to a food processor and turn the mixture into a paste.
Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add onion paste mixture to the frying pan and fry until it becomes quiet dark and looking almost burnt.
Once veggies are done add curry paste, sambal olek, turmeric and salt. Dry fry this for about 2 minutes constantly stirring.
Add tomatoes and chicken to the pan and stir well. Coconut milk is naturally very high in fat and although it is good fat…..fat is fat and I always try my best to lower the content in recipes. I would rather add fat on my own to a meal and not have it served to me in mysterious quantities. I love love love this Carnation coconut milk brand. Normally I would use my own coconut milk but today I was out. This is an excellent alternative.
After 1 hour, add frozen peas and coconut milk and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring often.
Home made naan is easy, cheap and much better than store-bought but if you don’t have the time then just warm up some whole wheat pitas. I made a double batch so that I could freeze the rest for a future curry.
Naan with Cilantro
2 cups warm milk
3 tsp yeast
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil (any oil)
2 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
If you have a mixer then attach the dough hook. If by hand then have a large bowl ready. Warm up your milk in the microwave. Just luke warm or it will kill the yeast. Add 3 tsp of yeast to the milk and stir just a bit. Leave this for about 5-7 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients together. To you’re mixer or bowl, add all the flour except about 3/4 cups of the white flour. Add oil, sugar, salt, cilantro and what should look like foamy milk. Stir this up well and if you have a mixer watch it and make sure that the dough comes together in a ball, if it is sticking to the bottom of the bowl then keep sprinkling your 3/4 cup leftover flour until a ball forms. Remove and continue to knead by hand until you get a nice firm ball of dough. If by hand then just keep kneading and kneading while adding the extra flour until you get the same ball of dough.
Place this into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (I turn on my oven for 2 min and then turn it off for a nice dark warm place). About 1 hour.
Once the dough has risen, make a bunch of little balls and roll each one out to desired size. I make sure to have a few ready to go.
Have a very hot frying pan ready and place your naan in it for about 10 seconds. Flip and cook for about 15-20 seconds.
These are so yum right out of the frying pan but just as good days later warmed up in the microwave. Naan is used to scoop up the gravy in your curry.
Yes you guessed it. This is a curry from the past! My sad little camera would not give me any nice night pictures. It looked exactly the same though and tasted even better.
Do you like Indian food?